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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Challenging (mis)perceptions

Sometimes your opposition's approach to mediation will be driven by a key perception or a lens through which all information about your case is filtered. These key perceptions vary from conspiracy theories to understandable misreading of documents and can be held by opposition lawyers, clients or both.  Where this is hindering negotiations one of the most effective ways to challenge the (mis)perception is to have a member of your client team, who played no part in events, speak directly to the most influential member of the opposition client team.

These one to ones are chaired by the mediator and a typical conversation might develop thus: "I can see how things could look that way and if I had been in charge we would have communicated differently but I can tell you genuinely that wasn't our [intent, position, objective] etc." 

This kind of acknowledgment is often taken as an apology and has the same effect, unlocking a stuck negotiation. One caveat: authenticity is essential.

Jennie Wade

Mediator: Jennie Wade

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